Last night my friend Bruce Thorn sent me an email. Bruce and I grew up together in
A big hello from the sunny south. I trust all is well. I keep up with y'all from
your blog. I am praying for you and believe 05 will be a year of new opportunities
in discovering just how much the Lord is pursuing us.
A year of new opportunities. I have been thinking about that a lot in the last few days. That's exactly what I believe 2005 is going to be--a year of new opportunities to serve the Lord. New doors. Fresh challenges. Unexpected invitations. Unseen problems that lead to new blessings. And none of it will happen by accident, though at the time it will seem to fall out of the sky. God will orchestrate the details of the coming year so that we come to know him better, and to use Bruce's phrase, and we will discover how much the Lord is pursuing us.
In the last two minutes (while I was typing this entry), I received an email from a young man in Canada whom I do not know. He picked up one of my books and found my email address in the back. He is struggling greatly with doubt and with finding a genuine walk with God. He sums up his email this way:
To tell you the truth I just want a "real" life with God. And it begins with that question. Does he really want me?
Lots of Christians struggle at that very point. The great news is that our God is a pursuing God. He doesn't just drop the Bible in our lap and say, "Good luck." He sends the Holy Spirit to awaken us, to challenge us, to convict us, and he arranges the circumstances of life so that we will finally stop running, and when we do, we discover he was there all along. My young friend from Canada is running hard right now and finding his Christian life rather barren. We've all been there, and some of us are there right now.
So I'm combining Bruce's good word with he prayer of Ramesh Richard that I mentioned in yesterday's entry: Lord, do something I'm not used to in 2005. Move me out of my comfort zone so that I won't rely so much on my own plans and my own power. Open the eyes of my heart so that I will comprehend the vastness of your love. And slow down my frantic life so that I can discover those things that matter most. Put me in a place where I am not equal to the opportunity so that I am forced to lean on you in a new way. This is my prayer for the new year. In Jesus' name, Amen.
To sign up for Pastor Ray's free weekly sermon email list, click here. You can find his daily weblog, online sermons, travel schedule, and other resources at www.keepbelieving.com. You can write Pastor Ray at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About Dr. Ray Pritchard
Dr. Ray Pritchard is the president of Keep Believing Ministries, in Internet-based ministry serving Christians in 225 countries. He is the author of 27 books, including Stealth Attack, Fire and Rain, Credo, The Healing Power of Forgiveness, An Anchor for the Soul and Why Did This Happen to Me? Ray and Marlene, his wife of 37 years, have three sons-Josh, Mark and Nick, two daughters-in-law--Leah and Vanessa, and two grandsons--Knox and Eli. His hobbies include biking, surfing the Internet, and anything related to the Civil War.
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